19 July, 2009

STLtoday.com Takes Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer Out to the Woodshed

The editorial board's arms must be tired after this epic paddling, but it's a good kind of tired:
Last year’s global average temperature was the 10th warmest since 1850. In fact, eight of the past 10 years, and 13 of the last 14, are among the warmest on record.

So naturally, Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican member of Congress from Missouri’s 9th district, has concluded: “We are undergoing a period of worldwide cooling.”


Global average temperature.

Global Average Temperature Record.

The graph above charts global average temperatures over time. It’s true that average temperature during each of the past three years was slightly lower than in 2005. That’s what scientists call annual temperature fluctuation.

But to anyone who can actually read a graph — a group that apparently doesn’t include Mr. Luetkemeyer — the larger trend is unmistakable.

The 1990s were the warmest decade since at least 1850. Yet 2008 — the year Mr. Luetkemeyer says proves “we are undergoing a period of worldwide cooling” — was warmer than all but two years of the 1990s.

The Arctic ice pack is shrinking by about 12 percent per decade. Greenland is losing at least 36 cubic miles of ice cover each year. Sea levels are rising. The reason: Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are at their highest levels in at least 650,000 years.

Just since 1950, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by about 35 percent.
This was but a snippet of the demolition. The whole is a thing of beauty and should be enjoyed in its entirety. STLtoday.com's Editorial Board: the Smack-o-Matic and I salute you.

(Tip o' the shot glass to Darksyde at Daily Kos)

1 comment:

Efrique said...

The rhetorical question would have to be
"Does 'warming' imply every year must be hotter than the last?"

and to those who say "but it seems fine here", I would ask
"Does 'global warming' imply that *every* location on earth must be hotter?"

[Actually, on this point there's one aspect of the Con spin that I don't entirely disagree with: referring to global warming as 'climate change'. It's entirely possible, for example, for some parts of the world to end up substantially cooler. If global warming stops the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Drift (as seems likely), we could even end up a lot colder than before. ]